Saturday, May 19, 2007

Comfort women; Yuki Tanaka on sexual violence of military(1)

"At 17;00 I was called to General MacArthur's quarters for a conference concerning some reported rapes cases on the part of Marines, There are also reports of some "acting up" on the part of 11th Airborne troop..."

It is interesting to note that the subject of the very first meeting between the top two military men of the US occupation forces immediately after the surrender ceremony was neither "the democratization of Japan " nor "the future status of Emperor Hirohito" but "rape by Marines"
Page123 Japan's Comfort Women/Yuki Tanaka

Mike Honda of the US representative and Onish of NYT are really righteous men, they want to make Japan to issue further apologies, because the several apologies by Japanese government are not "sincere" enough. He referred to the Congressional research, and the research referred to the book "Japan's comfort women" by Yuki Tanaka. But I think it was ironical the US congressional research cited Tanaka's book.
As far as I read the book, there is nothing new about the part describing Japanese system of comfort station. Sure it emphasizes the coercive aspects of the system,
and the brutal cases of rape, citing testimonies of the former comfort women, and accuse Japan vehemently . (though,for some reason, it does not mention the fact Japanese police regulated illegal brokers.)
However, note the author wrote
From the available testimonies of former comfort women, it is strongly believed that kidnapping and abduction were not widely used methods of procurement. page 44

It is apparent that many young Korean turned to prostitution to provide the essential income for their poverty-stricken families to survive. A series of the articles entitled "Poverty makes prostitutes", that appeared in September 1927 in the Korean newspaper Dongah Ilbo, clearly indicates this situation. It seems many young women were sold to brothels in returned for an advance payment to their families. Many married women also became prostitutes due to financial difficulties that arose while their husband were working away from home page 35

What is new is rather the part accusing the sexual violence's on the part of the US.
Let me cite the part Honda and the research ignored.

5 Sexual violence committed by the Allied occupation forces against Japanese women 1945-1946
Page 111
Soon after the US marine landed, all the women of a village on Motobu Peninsula fell into the hands of these American soldiers. At the time , there were only women, children and old people in the village, as ll the young men had been mobilized for the war, ....Taking advantage of this situation , they started "hunting for women" in broad daylight....It was no different from the "brutal acts on conquerors," committed by the Japanese forces in China.

page 112
US troops landed on Zamami Island , ...and began raping women there in March 1945, shortly after they had landed. They abducted the women, carried them one by one to deserted coastal areas and gang-raped them.......There is also a testimonies that some Okinawan nurses and local women patients who had been admitted to the US Field Hospital were raped by US soldiers. One of the victims, a young girl patient was raped by a GI in front of her father....The rape of Okinawan women by American soldiers continued even after the war officially ended and there are many incidents in which American soldiers took young girls from civilians houses at gunpoint.

"The rape of Okinawa'?

There is a lot more, I'll come back to it later.

Yuki Tanaka (2)
Yuki Tanaka (3)


page 54
The managers f comfort stations were instructed by the military authorities about the "salary" arrangements for their employees." For example,....half of the fee had to be paid to the comfort women and the other half to the manager. Expenses fro meals and bedding for the comfort women were supposed to be the manager's responsibility, while those for closing, hairdressing and cosmetics had to be met by each comfort woman. In case of illness, it was stipulated that 70 percent of medial expenses be paid by the manager. the case of a women for whom more than 1.500 yen had been paid in advance at the time of her recruitment, she would receive at least 40 percent of her taking....

page 55
Obviously the managers took advantage of the lack of education and the naivety of their "employees," and gave them as little information as possible regarding their due payments and expenses that the manager were expected to meet.
Available testimonies from Korean comfort women verify this point. For example, in her testimony, Yi Tungnam, a former comfort woman from Korea, described the "financial arrangement" she had with her manager, Kaneyama, whose Korean name was Kim, while working at a comfort station in Hankou:

Kaneyama said that he would keep 70 percent of our income and we would get 30 percent. He claimed to be keeping a record so that he could give us our money in one lump sum when we left the station. Sometimes, if we asked for money to buy clothes that we needed , he would give us about 20 yen each and say he had deducted it from our respective record. However, he barely gave enough money for new clothes , offering us a little perhaps once every few months. The money I had was given to me by soldiers one in a while. And even if i wanted to buy something, it was never easy to go our. Kaneyaa disapproved of us leaving the station to buy anything for the merchants up the road. He argued that we might miss the customers.

Most former comfort women testify that they received little payment from their managers and the money they did get was mainly pocket money form occasional tips from their "clients". One Korean former comfort women, Mun Okocha claims that she managed to save money given to her as tips by officer....However it seems that her case was exceptional...

infimum Says:
May 9th, 2007 at

Basically, the image of American GIs in Japan is giving out Hershey’s chocolates to children, at least that is what I thought.

Japan Center of Asian Historical Records have relevant reports on such rapes. You can search the archive with the key word “進駐軍ノ不法行為” in their homepage.

Also, the grand-daughter of the founder of Mitsubishi built an orphanage called Elizabeth Sanders Home for mixed children. They eventually built a school called St. Stephen’s School for them. The school still exists today.
Topcat Says:
May 9th, 2007 at


You are right, I should have given something credible.

I have to make a correction first:
2,536 murders (not 9,000 sorry!)
29,768 rapes
for 7 years from 1945 to 1952
(both numbers are officially reported and recorded ones as crimes, actual numbers are estimated much larger)

I should have written –

Japanese lawmakers and many Japanese journalists/ historians/ non-fiction writers say that about 2,500 murders and about 30,000 rapes were done by US soldiers during the occupation period.








SAPIO 2007年4月11日号 

52-53/Top cat/anpontan/eyes wide shut

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

參考 참고 Reference

 黃文雄的 大東亞戰爭 肯定論(台灣獨立建國聯盟 日本本部委員長)
 HUANG WENXIONG 에 의한 대동아전쟁 에 대한 긍정 이론
 Affirmative theory to The large Far East War by HUANG WENXIONG

 繼續 다음은 Continuation
    November 26,2007